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Meetings bring community, BU together

Feb. 27, 2001

First of gatherings aims to discuss common interests

By TYLER EMLER

Reporter

The city of Waco, in a coordinated effort with Baylor, is sponsoring three community meetings, the first of which is from 6 to 7:30 tonight at Edgefield Baptist Church.

Melett Harrison, program administrator for neighborhood services, said the purpose of the meeting is to bring the community together and to talk about things they have in common.

'There are definite possibilities for lots of common goals,' Harrison said, 'and we want to be able to try to bring people together and say 'OK, how do we work on this and how do we start to work as individuals [and] as a collective group on making those things happen.''

The activities for the meeting include free pizza followed by a time to socialize.

Also, there will be a video detailing the history of Baylor and south Waco and the changes that have occurred in the area. The majority of the time will be spent in a 'town hall-style meeting' in which residents can discuss the future of the neighborhood.

Harrison said Baylor students should attend the meeting because their input could help make the community a safer, cleaner place.

'[The community] is very much in a state of change right now, and you have an opportunity to help direct that.'

City Councilwoman Alice Flores, who represents Baylor's district, said the meeting is meant to be a time for homeowners and Baylor students in the community to come and get to know each other. '[The meeting] is not an 'us versus you' type thing. It's really more a 'lets get to know one another, let's understand our problems and let's work to a solution that everybody will be happy with,'' Flores said.

'We just want everybody to understand that we all have to live together, and we should all work as neighbors,' Flores said.

Flores said no topics will be imposed, but they will discuss 'whatever people are comfortable talking about.'

The discussions will be led by Dr. Kevin Barge, Baylor associate professor of communications studies, and Alfredo Laredo, principal of University Middle School.

The other two community meetings will take place March 1 at Seventh and James Baptist Church and March 15 at Face to Face Ministries.

For questions, call the City of Waco Neighborhood Services at 750-5640.

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